Saying ‘no’ is saying ‘yes’ to yourself – Mark MacLeod

September 3, 2020 - Mark MacLeod

Saying ‘no’ is saying ‘yes’ to yourself

The title of this post is a nugget I got from one of my clients. As with all too many CEOs, this person was overwhelmed with demands for his time. He has many stakeholders, and leads not just in his company, but in his startup community. Trying to stay on top of all these internal and external demands was trying.

This CEO is not alone. Far too many CEOs are run ragged trying to keep up with a never-ending, always-growing list of requests for their time.

If you are operating at the right altitude as a CEO, then you should actually have a relatively clear calendar focused on a small number of strategic priorities.

If this is not the case and your day is full of meetings and your evenings are full of email, perhaps some changes are needed.

For internal demands inside your company, I recommend taking what I call a barbell approach to time management: be involved at the beginning and end of a project to define success, align it to the vision and determine whether that success criteria was met. No need to be involved in any of the heavy lifting in the middle.

External demands can be trickier. Many startup founders have benefited greatly from the help of others along the way. So, they want to give back and pay it forward as well.

I get and admire this. But the best thing you can do for your startup community is build a successful company. Doing so will result in more hiring, more experience and insights to share when you do have more time, and hopefully lots of wealth to turn into new angel investments for the next cohort of founders coming out of your community.

Saying ‘no’ to others is truly saying ‘yes’ to yourself. It is only by doing this that you can create the space in your schedule and your brain to truly focus on your deliberate, intended strategic priorities.

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Your journey is never done

Sign up to my newsletter and join an inspired community of leaders who realize that the journey to achieving their full potential is never done.

    If you’re curious about my coaching and deal work you can learn more here.

    back to blog

    Latest Blog Feed

    All employee departures should matter

    In the rush to create shareholder value, raise more capital, get to an exit, break even – or whatever the next milestone is for your business, we often get de-sensitized to what is happening – both to ourselves and our […]

    read more

    How much value did you add today?

    I work with a CEO whose company has daily targets for enterprise value created. I love this for two reasons: 1. I believe that speed is both the primary strategy and primary tactic for a high growth company. All else […]

    read more

    Sometimes you don’t need an investment bank

    Back when I was an investment banker, I joked regularly that bankers have a well-deserved bad reputation. The fact is, most bankers are useless. Especially in the mid-market (where most VC and PE funded companies are). They charge far too […]

    read more

    Contact

    Email : me@markmacleod.me

    Follow me:

    Mark MacLeod ICF Member

    Send Me A Message